Giving something back to our town

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KENT and Juanita raised their three boys in the district and always like to give something back to the community that has supported them. When the new shop was built in 1984, the couple lived behind the shop on the Princes Highway in Ulladulla.

Their three sons, Ben, Tim and Martyn, attended Ulladulla Public and High schools and helped run the shop in their teenage years. Tim now manages the new store inthe Woolworths shopping centre, while Marty runs the family’s Rip Curl shop at the top of town and Ben lives in Canberra with a young family of his own.Kent said the community has always been supportive and loyal to his family’s business and he likes to give back to the town.

Over the past 40 years, Southern Man has sponsored hundreds of sporting teams, from soccer and cricket to rugby league and the Mollymook Surf Club as well as up-and-coming surfers. The business has also been involved with school and community events such as the Blessing of the Fleet Festival.

Kent said it was important to have a presence within the community and to be involved in activities such as kids sport. “Children’s sport is so important,” he said. “I’ve always supported anything that gets kids out and about and active. “It’s not just about surfing, we have supported all kids of sporting teams and clubs.”

Individual surfers have gained a helping hand from Southern Man, with some going on to compete at an elite level. Southern Man sponsored Glenn Kelly, as well as Adam Boland, Aaron McKenzie, Steve Dair, Graeme and Brad Parsons, John Gillies, Nathan Marks and Jason ‘Bullfrog’ Evans and many more.

The business now sponsors surfers Scott (Whippy) Dennis, Sean Mawson , Chad Elkins and Beau and Ben Buckpitt along with bodyboarders Stirling Banks and Damien Marty. Kent said the business has been involved with local surfers at a ground level over the years.

He has been an ongoing supporter of the Ulladulla Boardriders Club, Ulladulla Bodyboarders Club, Mollymook Longboarders and the Disabled Surfers Association. In 1984 Kent, in conjunction with the Ulladulla Boardriders, launched the popular Southern Man Surf Off competition which later became the Ulladulla Charity Classic. The event raised up to $4,000 annually for charities, such as fire brigades, Milton Hospital or local families in need, for more than 20 years.

The competition is now run by the Mollymook Longboarders and continues to support local charities. Kent said supporting the community, for him, has always been more than money. “It’s about getting in and volunteering your time and helping at ground level.”